|Truly CA: Our State, Our Stories: "Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton's Cafeteria" Press Release|
A New Documentary from KQED's Truly CA Series
Airing on Sunday, June 19th at 6:00pm
May 25, 2005, San Francisco, CA --- In 1966 police raided Compton's Cafeteria, an all-night diner in San Francisco's impoverished Tenderloin neighborhood, and the transgender community fought back. Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton's Cafeteria tells the virtually unknown story of this act of assertion that helped launch a broad movement for human rights and individual liberty -- three years before the more famous 1969 gay riots at New York's Stonewall Inn. Screaming Queens will premiere on KQED Public Television 9 as part of Truly CA, KQED's new documentary series, on Sunday, June 19 at 6pm.
Screaming Queens introduces viewers to a diverse cast of former prostitutes, drag entertainers, police officers, ministers, and neighborhood activists, all of whom played a part in the events leading up to the Compton's Cafeteria riot. Mixing recent interviews with archival footage, the program depicts a marginalized group few people know, one that exists in the midst of a city famous for its openness to diverse communities.
With extraordinary candor, and from differing points of view, the subjects recount the difficulties they encountered in the Tenderloin, as well as the sense of community they created there in the mid-Sixties. Felicia Elizondo tells of prostituting herself in order to survive. Aleshia Brevard, a drag entertainer, describes how her talent spared her from street prostitution. Perhaps most surprising is Sgt. Elliot Blackstone, who helps explain the conflict between the Police Department and San Francisco's transgender community, and how police policies changed to reflect greater acceptance in the years following the 1966 riot.
Screaming Queens sets out to foster a better understanding of the experiences of transgender people and to inform a broad audience of their often difficult lives and unheralded accomplishments. Along the way, the program also illuminates the interplay of urban politics, community mobilization and social services in creating the modern inner city.
Screaming Queens is written, directed and produced by Victor Silverman, associate professor of history at Pomona College, and Susan Stryker, former executive director of the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco. Jack Walsh, Emmy-award winning independent producer whose credits include Hope Along the Wind: The Life of Harry Hay and Girl Trouble, is also a producer.
Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton's Cafeteria is produced in association with The Independent Television Service (ITVS) and KQED Public Television.
About Truly CA
Truly CA is KQED's new series of independent documentaries about life in the golden state. It airs monthly on Sundays at 6pm on KQED 9. Truly CA is a KQED production presented in association with the Bay Area Video Coalition and Film Arts Foundation. Rachel Raney is the series producer, Sue Ellen McCann is the executive producer.
Truly CA is a KQED production presented in association with the Bay Area Video Coalition and Film Arts Foundation. Funding for Truly CA is provided by the KQED Campaign for the Future Program Venture Fund.
KQED Public Broadcasting operates KQED Public Television 9, one of the nation's most-watched public television stations during prime-time, and KQED's digital television channels, which include KQED HD, KQED Encore, KQED World, KQED Life and KQED Kids; KQED Public Radio, the most-listened-to public radio station in the nation with an award-winning news and public affairs program service (88.5 FM in San Francisco and 89.3 FM in Sacramento); KQED.org, one of the most visited station sites in Public Broadcasting; and KQED Education Network, which brings the impact of KQED to thousands of teachers, students, parents and media professionals through workshops, seminars and resources.
The Bay Area Video Coalition is the nation's largest noncommercial media arts center dedicated to providing access to media, education and technology. BAVC is a production facility, an affordable training center, a pioneer in technology-based workforce development and a critical resource for independent filmmakers.
About Film Arts Foundation
Film Arts Foundation supports the creation and success of independent film and video makers by providing education, comprehensive information, state of the art facilities and equipment, financial support and exhibition opportunities. Film Arts Foundation is a catalyst and advocate for the diverse voices of the independent film community on the West Coast and nationally.